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What are key factors of competitor analysis?

When performing competitor analysis, there are several steps you should take to determine what they're doing, and how they're doing it.

The first step is to develop a complete list of websites and pages in SEO and PPC that rank for keywords in your niche. This is how you can identify competitors.

Finding Competitors to Target

Perform searches for commonly searched keywords in your industry. The ones ranking at the top for one or more of the top terms are worth researching to learn what they're doing. Depending on your industry, you may find that large corporations and popular companies rank at the top, but there are likely many different terms that people search for that even the largest competitors haven't covered. While it may be more difficult to go after larger companies, the smaller ones can be easy to outrank if you develop an effective strategy.

Research Top Competitor Pages

Look at the specific pages that your competitors rank for. What are they doing? What sort of keywords are they using in the content and where? How long is the content?

Asking questions like these can help you learn what your competitors are doing and emulate or even improve upon their strategies.

Monitor Competitors' Progress

Once you've figured out who your competitors are and what they're doing, you should monitor them to see what they do differently, which new keywords they rank for, and the kind of pages they're creating. You can use this information to improve your own strategy and stay ahead.

This can also be great for developing blog ideas. Keeping an eye on competitors' blogs can help you come up with topics and determine what you need to do to rank higher than them.

Using these steps, you can more effectively stay above competitors.